A photo presented in the exhibition shows Auguste Francois (the left one), the consul general of France in Kunming from 1899 to 1904. [Provided to InKunming]
[InKunming--Living in Kunming] French photography exhibition, "Paris-Beijing French Focus on China, 1844-2014", is held at Kunming Municipal Museum from May 11 to 30. French curator of the exhibition, Alain Sayag, received interview of InKunming reporter at the exhibition site on May 11.
Alain told the reporter his feelings deep in heart: " I hope I can find a French perspective to observe the very distinctive China."
Alain noted, French people are the earliest foreigners to take photos in China. After the Second Opium War, many French people traveled to China. These people, including travelers, soldiers and businessmen, were obsessed with China, and kept a record of old China by images. In their perspectives, China was a country with great complexity, exotic atmosphere, as well as peculiarity.
Alain also talked about other foreign photographers. He said: "A lot of U.K. and German photographers also took many photos about China. The U.K. photographers were used to keeping a distance from things that they photographed, that is to say, they always took photos in a relatively objective way. However, French photographers tend to present their curiosity and astonishment towards China."
"The exhibition fully shows changes of China, from a closed and mysterious land to a dynamic and modern society over history." Alain said.
According to Alain, photos presented in the exhibition are collected from over 30 museums, which cost a lot of painstaking efforts. These photos not only display some historical events in Chinese history, but also show many unrecognized moments of China in past years. "China has witnessed great changes, yet my love towards China has never changed." Alain said, with a smile on his face.
During the interview, Alain mentioned about Auguste Francois (Chinese name: Fang Yasu), the consul general of France in Kunming from 1899 to 1904. Fang Yasu had contributed a lot to Yunnan to prevent aggression from foreigners. He also left many precious photos about Kunming at that time.
Alain said that he had traveled to many cities of China, but few of them held international exhibitions. Many exhibitions were held in big cities, such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. But in Alain’s opinion, he prefers to hold exhibitions in small cities, which can let more Chinese people to receive international cultures.
When talking about Kunming, Alain noted: "I visited Kunming 20 years ago. The city has changed a lot. It is a pity that many historical sites have disappeared until now."
Click here to view Chinese report.
(Editors: Tracy, Cathy Chen)